4th Dynasty

Ancient Egyptian beaded dress

Ancient Egyptian faience beaded fishnet dress. It is the oldest surviving example of a dress in this style. And yes, it would have put the wearer’s body on display in a way that is barely acceptable at a burlesque by today’s standards. The dress has been reassembled from approximately seven thousand beads (no record mentioned how...

Head of King Khufu

Colossal head possibly of King Khufu, who became Egypt’s best known pyramid builder, responsible for the Great Pyramid at Giza. Granite is extremely hard, but the sculptor of this statue was able to give the king’s plump face and small features a softly natural quality, perhaps suggesting the subject’s actual appearance rather than an idealized...

Tablet of Seven Oils

During royal funerals, it was a rule to include in the offerings a complete set of the seven ritual oils. They were meant to be a testimony to the sacralization acts performed when the deceased was put in his coffin, and to protect the dead on their eternal journey. This tablet for the seven sacred...

Great Sphinx of Giza, 1931

The Great Sphinx of Giza, 1931

The head of the Sphinx of Giza is encased in scaffolding and works are under way excavating the body. Early 20th-century excavation at the Giza Necropolis. An earlier Sphinx excavation was marked by the Dream Stele (around 1401 BC) of Thutmose IV, at lower center. The granite altar (bottom) between the Sphinx’s paws dates from...

Interior of the Tomb of Meresankh III

Queen Meresankh III was the daughter of Hetepheres II and prince Kawab and a granddaughter of king Khufu. She was the wife of king Khafra. Her tomb was discovered by archaeologist George Reisner on April 23, 1927, with subsequent excavations undertaken by his team on behalf of Harvard University and the Museum of Fine Arts,...

Bracelet Box of Queen Hetepheres I

Bracelet Box of Queen Hetepheres I

Some of the earliest silver objects unearthed in Egypt are this rare pair of silver bracelets, belonging to Queen Hetepheres I. They are inlaid with turquoise, lapis lazuli, and carnelian, in the form of a butterfly. The internal and external surfaces of this small box, or casket, were covered with gold leaf. The lid of...

Armchair of Queen Hetepheres I

The seat and the backrest of the armchair Armchair of Queen Hetepheres I are made of natural wood. They are surrounded by a simple wooden frame covered with gold leaf with high arms in gilded wood. The backrest of the chair is reinforced at the rear by a central support. The space between the arms,...

Statue of King Khafre Enthroned

Statue of Khafre Enthroned

Immensely famous ever since its discovery. The funerary statue of Khafre Enthroned represents the apotheosis of the sculptural skill of the court artists applied to the sublimation of royal divinity. The King is portrayed on a cubic throne carved entirely with symbols of royalty. On the front, lion paws and protomas, and on the sides, the...

Relief of King Sneferu in Sinai

Relief of King Sneferu in Sinai

The relief tells us of king Snefru’s victory over the Bedouins, a military move that was also common since the times of king Sanakht and which secured the mines for turquoise and copper in Wadi Nash and Wadi Maghareh, west Sinai. This relief, made of sandstone, shows Sneferu on a large scale, smiting an enemy...

The Meidum Geese

Meidum Geese

This part of a wall painting of geese was found in the Mastaba of Nefermaat and his wife, Itet, at Meidum where it decorated the lower part of one of the walls in the passage leading to Itet’s chapel. The colors used here derived from natural materials: white from limestone, red from hematite and green...